In the 1940s the US military feared an imminent extension of the conflict that was taking place in Europe and for this reason it asked several companies for the supply of a new vehicle with four-wheel drive, capable of carrying 272 kg of cargo and with empty weight less than 580 kg.
The tender was attended by Willys-Overland, Ford and the small Bantam company founded 5 years earlier by Roy Evans on what remained of American Austin.
The latter proposed the BRC-40, a small off-road vehicle based on a rolling chassis equipped with a Continental 45 hp Continental BY4112 engine managed by a T84 manual three-speed gearbox.
Special feature of the vehicle was the absence of the pedal accelerator, as the speed was managed by a lever located near the steering wheel.
The car, given its excellent quality, was selected as the winner of the competition, but the sudden entry into the war of the United States forced Bantam to supply the project to its competitors as the small company of Butler had no chance to satisfy the new demands of the US Army.
At the end of the hostilities the Bantam went to a premature end, while the Jeep Willys derived from the BRC-40 project became a legend.
Thank you to Valentina Zanola and Alessandro Renesis for the cooperation